The theme for this past year has been setting and accomplishing goals. Half way through the year we reviewed our progress toward our goals. Before we get started let’s review what a SMART goal is.
This is the who, what, when, where, etc of your goals. General goals are good for long term but need to be broken down into specific goals.
Define specific criteria for each goal to be able to track it. Be able to qualify your progress.
You must be able to reach your goals, if not they are just lofty ideals. Attainable doesn’t mean easy, though. Make them challenging but realistic.
Goals require time and commitment and when it gets tough will they still matter. Ask yourself if the goal is worthwhile and does the outcome match the effort.
Set a start date and a target date to achieve goal. Without a time limit there is no urgency to take action.
Since this past year was about setting goals we’re going to focus on what you do with those goals and how you get there next year. The theme will be Build Your Story and it will start in a couple weeks with an episode called Writing Your Story.
Resolutions From 2017
Buy a new laptop!
Even though I had some unexpected things happen I still managed to get a new laptop on tax free weekend. I’ve been enjoying it and all the benefits of actually having enough RAM to do something.
Become a permanent employee at work.
We discussed this at the midyear review as I became a full time permanent employee back in February. It’s had it’s ups and downs but overall I do enjoy my job.
Speak at a conference, code club, or user group meeting.
I accomplished this in October, same as Will. I spoke at BarCamp an “unconference” here in town about the Developer’s Role In SCRUM and then again at a bootcamp about Code Smells.
Outline and begin writing a book for autodidactic developers.
Well the book is mostly outlined, though not detailed. I got a little distracted when Will and I started writing a book together. That is fully outlined and mostly recorded.
Lose 50 lbs by October.
I didn’t accomplish this. I came close losing around 25-30lbs and going down a pant size. I’m still making progress but first hurting my toe then breaking my foot kept me from exercising enough to lose the weight.
100 1 arm KB swings per arm as a warm up to lifting.
I didn’t accomplish this either. I did get in 100 swings but did not get to the point of it being a warm up. Mainly because Will and I stopped working out together and I don’t have KBs at my apartment so it’s just the free weights.
Meditate more regularly.
Did more in the latter part of the year and am doing it daily now, but the first half of the year, not so much.
Lift more often and hit 450.
Hurting my back in March slowed me down. The hernia in August did as well. Currently working on finishing workout room so I can run at it next year though. I did well considering the problems but did not improve my maximum deadlift.
Do better with my editorial calendar. Finish the book.
Doing far better with the editorial calendar. Put the book off because too much on my plate after getting about 7 chapters in. Will continue to work on it as time permits, but it isn’t part of the critical path.
Finish my punch-list of home improvements.
Lots of stuff done, but not all. Taxes looked like they were going to nail me, so I had to put things off. Then, by the time I figured out they weren’t going to be as bad as I initially thought, it was September. We prioritized getting the upstairs re-floored and painted, so the other things shifted in priority. Still, did pretty well, considering.
Improve my personal brand. Get into public speaking via a user group somewhere.
Take more days off and use them for myself.
Did better, but not really enough.
Resolutions For 2018
- Speak at more conferences and schools.
- Start blogging more.
- Pay off the last of my private student loans.
- Go on a long bike ride, either to visit friends across the country or one of my sisters.
- Get into story writing.
- Drop another full pants size.
- More public speaking (like Beej).
- Fix my sleep.
- Start saving money for land to build a house on.
- Meditate and exercise much more frequently.
- Go on an actual retreat. Alone.
- Start pushing for some work from home capabilities at my job.
Complete Developer Network Resolutions
- Publish our first book.
- Sponsorship for Complete Developer Podcast.
- Increase our listeners.
- Expand Developer Launchpad.
Automatic Ice Bucket Vendor Based on Arduino
This is a fun project from DFRobot. The engineers decided to take the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge but did it “the maker way” by building an automated ice bucket to dump the ice water on themselves. Using an Arduino and Romeo v2 to drive the motor this uses an ultrasonic sensor to detect when a person is within range of the bucket. It will fill a bucket with ice and water then dumps that on the challenger’s head. It only took two days from conception to a fully functional prototype. While maybe not the most practical of exercises it is still a fun way to raise awareness and practice some IoT and Robotics skills.
Tricks of the Trade
Every so often, come back to center. Yes, you’re trying to build up a good life for yourself so that you can do the things you want. But you need to go back to actually doing those things, both because life is short and because you’ll aim to build up the good life for its own sake, rather than so you have a good life.